One of the companies that I purchase a lot of green tea from is a Japanese tea company that was founded in 1717 in the heart of Kyoto – Ippodo Tea Company. They have been providing the highest quality Japanese green tea for over 3 centuries. More than just a retailer, Ippodo is a multi-faceted tea company directly involved in the procurement and blending of carefully selected tea leaves. Their teas are of the finest class, cultivated in the lush fields of Kyoto and the surrounding area. The region is renowned for producing the highest grade of green tea in Japan, largely to its mild misty climate, mineral-rich soil and near-perfect balance of sunshine and rainfall.
In April of 2013, they opened their first street-front store outside of Japan, near Grand Central Station in Manhattan. So, now you can order their high- quality green teas conveniently here in the states.
I periodically receive their newsletter, and the latest newsletter featured several summer recipes, that offered fresh ways to enjoy various Ippodo teas. One of which looked very enticing – Sparking Matcha. Matcha is the latest and greatest health fad. It is so hot right now despite being a really, really old Japanese tradition.
So, just what is matcha…
Matcha is a high- quality green tea in which the whole leaves are crushed to become a fine-ground powder. Traditionally, it’s whisked in a bowl with hot water to become a rich, frothy beverage. Matcha is special because it’s the only form of green tea in which the entire leaf is consumed (as opposed to brewed tea bags which you steep then throw out the bag). Ingesting the entire leaf makes it an antioxidant powerhouse, providing amazing health benefits that far exceed other teas or beverages. Matcha green tea has been proclaimed as a “superfood”. As it contains the entire leaf, drinking a cup of matcha is equivalent to 10 cups of normal green tea to get the same nutritional benefits.
Sparkling Matcha Recipe
Sparkling water adds a lively texture to matcha. Served over ice, this recipe is refreshing on a summer afternoon.
Sift 2 tsp. of matcha into a bowl with a spout.
Add 2 oz. cold water, and whisk with a chasen.
Pour into a tall glass and add ice cubes.
Top off with approximately 4 fluid oz. of sparkling water.
Stir and enjoy!